Speed management : A road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners

50 mph speed limit
PAHO

The third good practice manual jointly prepared by GRSP, WHO, the FIA Foundation and the World Bank, on speed management, was launched by GRSP ahead of the United Nations General Assembly discussion on road safety later this month. Speed has been identified as a key risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing both the risk of a road traffic crash as well as the severity of the injuries that result from crashes. For instance, pedestrians have a 90% chance of survival if hit by a car travelling at a speed of 30km/h or below, but less than a 50% chance of surviving an impact of 45km/h or above.

This speed management manual proposes simple, effective and low-cost solutions to excessive and inappropriate speed that can be implemented on a national or local level. It targets governments, non-governmental organizations and road safety practitioners, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries. The manual is based on a modular structure that provides evidence, examples, case studies and practical steps on how to manage vehicle speed.

The manual essentially provides guidance on the following:

  • The background evidence on why speed is a risk factor and why it is important to start a speed management programme;
  • The steps needed to undertake a problem assessment in a country;
  • How to plan and implement a programme, including setting up a working group, developing a plan, examples of laws and enforcement, how to develop public education and publicity campaigns; and finally
  • How to evaluate the programme.

The key principles and practical steps that this manual presents can easily be adapted and made relevant to different contexts around the world. The partners on this manual hope that this document will be used by policy-makers, decision-makers and other players to support the implementation of speed management programmes in different countries.

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